Whether you are going to just pass through the city, or are planning to spend a few days exploring the urban attractions, Jakarta is surely to leave a mark on your psyche. Indonesia’s larger-than-life capital is a city that is full of wonder and hidden charms. That being said, if unprepared, you may end up feeling completely lost and confused. If you are going to travel to Indonesia, take a moment to learn more about the nation’s capital.
Initially, the sprawling cityscape, stretching for miles over a somewhat featureless plane may not seem like the most enticing place to be. With the hot temperatures and almost constant smog, it is not a surprise to find most visitors do not spend much time here. In fact, the majority of foreigners who arrive at the city’s international airport have just one goal in mind, finding a way to leave the polluted streets behind as quickly as possible.
Behind the glass fascias, shabby slums, and concrete slabs is a city full of surprises and a vibrant population. The richly scented and steamy alleys and streets of Chinatown are certainly worth checking out, as is the local decadent nightlife. Jakarta is a place that is filled with surprising gems.
It is a multicultural city. The human melting pot that exists here is unique in Asia. In fact, it is often said that Indonesian identity is forged on Jakarta’s sidewalks and cramped living quarters. Nowhere else in the country can you find Timorese rubbing shoulders with Balinese, Madurese living next to Ambonese, and Bataks running businesses with Chinese.
Though it may not be one of the country’s main tourist destinations, there is certainly a number of interesting sights to see in Jakarta. For example, a tour of Kota, the old city, provides an insight into the region’s long history. There are enough museums and cultural attractions to keep visitors entertained for days.
No matter what your reason for wanting to visit Indonesia, be it to relax on the beaches of Bali, view the wildlife on Borneo, explore the culture of Java, or just take in the sights and sounds of this ancient land, it is definitely worth penciling in a few days in Jakarta. Whether you are a fan of cities or not, the opportunity to experience one of the world’s most vibrant cities should not be overlooked. It will allow you a glimpse into the heart of Indonesian society.